Malaysian intelligence has confirmed that Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) splinter group leader and master bomb-maker Noordin Mat Top is currently not in the country.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that Noordin, the chief suspect in the twin hotel bombings in Jakarta last week, was not in the country.
“I don’t know where he is; I can only confirm that he’s not here,” he told reporters after the launch of a safe city initiative in the Ara Damansara township here Tuesday.
Hishammuddin said Malaysia intelligence was working very closely with their Indonesian counterparts to hunt the terrorists involved in the bombing.
Anti-terrorism police detained Ariana Rahma, who is married to Malaysian fugitive Noordin Mohammad Top, the channels reported without citing their sources.
Broadcasters TVOne and MetroTV say Wednesday that she is to be questioned by police in the capital, Jakarta, where suicide bombers last Friday at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton killed seven and wounded more than 50.
Malysian Mirror has a good summary of this guy’s terrorist life:
Former accountant Noordin, 35, is said to be a recruiting whiz who purportedly excels at collecting money for the group’s deadly missions. Thus, he was often referred to as ‘The Moneyman’.
His late sidekick Azahari Husin (killed in 2005 in southern Philippines) was the ‘Demolition Man’ for his knowledge of explosives. Both were said to be key figures of the JI group that were linked to several terror raids.
Indonesian police suspected Noordin of talking militants into becoming suicide bombers, using skills he picked up during stints in the southern Philippines.
He and Azahari became Southeast Asia’s most wanted fugitives after allegedly masterminding the bombing of a nightclub in Bali in 2002 that took more than 200 lives and the suicide attacks in Jakarta in 2003 and 2004, which left 23 more dead. They were said to be also responsible for the bombings of Bali restaurants in 2005.